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How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success




For social media marketers, understanding the effectiveness of your online campaigns is crucial for achieving real impact. Enter UTM parameters—simple fragments added to the end of URLs that provide invaluable insights into the performance of your social media efforts.

UTM parameters provide three key benefits:

  • Measuring the ROI of social media posts
  • Providing precise tracking for conversions
  • Allowing A/B testing of different links or creatives

Anytime you add links to your social media posts, you should add UTM parameters. Below, we’ll explain how to create your own UTM tags and share several tips and best practices for how to use them.

Bonus: Download a free guide and checklist to help you convince your boss to invest more in social media. Includes experts tips for proving ROI.

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What are UTM parameters?

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module, a term coined by Urchin, the predecessor to Google Analytics.

UTM parameters are short pieces of text that you add to links. The parameters convey information about the link’s placement, purpose, and content, making tracking clicks and traffic from a specific social media post or campaign easy.

The best part? UTM parameters are unaffected by changes to or opt-outs of cookies and third-party tracking pixels such as the Meta pixel. They also integrate with analytics tools like Google Analytics, Tableau, Mixpanel, and Hotjar.

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Here’s an example of an URL with UTM parameters:

a URL with UTM parameters attached. each UTM parameter is highlighted in a different color

The UTM parameters are the colored snippets that start after the last slash of the URL.

There are five UTM tags that you can add to your URLs. The first three are required for tracking in Google Analytics, while the last two are optional.

1. Campaign source (required)

This parameter tracks the traffic source, such as a social media platform, search engine, or blog.

Examples: instagram, tiktok, blog, newsletter

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UTM code: utm_source

Sample code: utm_source=tiktok

2. Campaign medium (required)

This parameter tracks the type of channel where the link is placed, such as organic social, paid social, cost-per-click ads (cpc), or email.

Examples: paid_social, organic_social, cpc, email

UTM code: utm_medium

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Sample code: utm_medium=paid_social

3. Campaign name (required)

This parameter tracks the campaign with which the link is associated. The campaign name could be a product name, contest name, advertising campaign theme, specific sale or promotion name, influencer’s username, or more—as long as you know what it means.

Examples: black_friday, always_on, webinars

UTM code: utm_campaign

Sample code: utm_campaign=black_friday

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4. Campaign term

Use this UTM tag to track search keywords or key phrases. This parameter is most commonly used in paid search ads.

Examples: social_media_tool, free_budget_software

UTM code: utm_term

Sample code: utm_term=social_media_tool

5. Campaign content

Use this UTM tag when you have multiple links pointing to the same URL, such as when running numerous creatives within the same ad set. You can use this parameter to A/B test different social media ads or posts.

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Examples: video_ad, text_ad, ugc_ad, blue_banner, green_banner

UTM code: utm_content

Sample code: utm_content=ugc_ad

6. Optional GA4 tags

With the recent release of Google Analytics 4, Google introduced some new UTM tags:

  • utm_id: a campaign ID used to identify a specific campaign or promotion. Required in GA4 for importing cost, clicks, and impressions data from Google Ads.
  • utm_source_platform: to identify the source platform, such as Search Ads 360 or Display & Video 360.

As GA4 is starting to be adopted, these new tags may not be available across non-GA4 tools. So, consider these tags unnecessary unless you’re a power user of GA4 already.

Combining all parameters

You can combine all of the parameters above in one link. Before adding the parameters, a ? must be inserted after the last slash of the URL. Then each parameter should be separated by an & symbol.

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Here’s what a proper URL would look like using the sample UTM tags above:

It may seem intimidating to build your own links, but in most cases, you won’t have to do it manually. You can also use link shorteners to avoid showing such long, unsightly URLs in your posts.

See also  How to Delete an Instagram Account (The Easy Way)

Read on to learn how to add UTMs to your links using UTM link builders and automated tools.

Why UTM parameters matter

We know that one of the most complex parts of a social media manager’s role is proving the impact of their work. Luckily, UTM parameters make that burden slightly easier. We’ll explain five reasons why they matter below.

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1. Accurate attribution

Using UTM parameters, you can give accurate credit to your website traffic sources. This information is valuable in determining which platforms or channels bring top-of-funnel growth to your business.

For example, you can compare whether more visitors come from social media ads, Google ads, email newsletters, or social media posts.

2. Measuring campaign performance

UTM parameters enable you to measure the performance of your marketing campaigns across multiple channels, including social.

Within analytics tools, you can analyze metrics like total goal conversions, bounce rate, and average time on-site for each campaign. This analysis can help you to understand how your campaign performed across different platforms.

3. Calculating ROI

By pinpointing the traffic and conversions generated by each channel, you can calculate the ROI of your social media marketing.

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For example, you can group data by utm_medium and calculate the value from all conversions contributed by organic and paid social.

You can also group by utm_source and see which platforms drive the highest traffic volumes.

By combining both, you can demonstrate the reach and impact of social media.

4. Audience segmenting

UTM parameters allow you to segment your website visitors based on the traffic source. This segmentation helps you understand which links or content resonate with each source. You can tailor your content to each platform’s audience based on these insights.

5. Data-driven decision-making

UTM parameters provide precise and objective data that can help you improve your social strategy.

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You can identify underperforming campaigns that need adjustments, allocate your ad budget more effectively, and create more content for platforms that drive the most valuable traffic.

How to create UTM parameters

Hootsuite Composer

If you use Hootsuite to publish your social media posts, you can automatically use the link builder to add UTMs to your URLs. Even better, you can shorten them using Hootsuite’s built-in shortener ( or your vanity URL.

When creating a post in the Composer, add a link. A link toolbar will appear, and you can select Add tracking to fill in your preferred UTM parameters. You can choose a link shortener within the same link settings window.

Watch more below:

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Google Campaign URL Builder

The Campaign URL builder is a free tool from Google that generates links with UTM parameters.

First, make sure to set the toggle to reflect which version of Google Analytics you’re using:

The toggle switch on Google's Campaign URL Builder allows you to create UTM parameters for Universal Analytics or GA4

Source: Google Campaign URL Builder

Next, fill in the form with your specific identifiers, and the tool will generate your tracking URL. Copy and paste that URL into your social media post.

A tool with rows for website URL and all UTM tags. After entering each required parameter (marked with an asterisk), the tagged URL will be generated

Source: Google Campaign URL Builder

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After using Google UTM tool, it generates the tagged URL

Source: Google Campaign URL Builder

Google Sheets

Some marketing teams or companies prefer to have complete control over their tracking URLs or keep them all documented in one place.

For that or similar purposes, you can build your own tracking link generator in Google Sheets.

To build your sheet, add these columns:

  • Base URL
  • Source
  • Medium
  • Campaign
  • Term
  • Content
  • Final URL
  • Optional: other fields (such as date created, etc.)

Here’s an example sheet:

an example of a Google Sheet used to generate UTM tagged links

The formula to generate the Final URL is complex, so I suggest using this MeasureSchool resource to build your sheet.

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How UTM parameters work in real life

UTM Example

Here’s what UTM parameters look like on a real social post:

In this case, Hootsuite’s social media team shortened the link. When a user clicks the link, it opens in the browser, where you can see the UTM parameters in the address bar:

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Shows what a shortened URL looks like after you click it. The UTM-tagged link is fully expanded in a browser's search bar and the tags attached to that link are now visible

Here’s the full URL:—-social_hootsuite—

Let’s break down what the UTM codes mean:

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  • utm_source=linkedin_hootsuite. The link was posted on Hootsuite’s LinkedIn account.
  • utm_medium=owned_social. The post was organic (no paid reach).
  • utm_term=1c17bf3e-770d-41a1-be9a-d4fee910d655. This is a unique identifier that’s automatically generated for each post
  • utm_campaign=alwayson-none-glo-en—-social_hootsuite—. The post is part of always-on content (in other words, not part of any specific campaign), targeted globally, written in English, and published by Hootsuite’s social team.

How to analyze UTM parameters

Next step: analysis! You can use any preferred analytics tool, but I’ll use Google Analytics (GA4) for this example.

1. In the Reports tab on the left side, go to Acquisition, then Traffic acquisition.

GA4's sidebar menu. After clicking reports, a submenu appears, showing Acquisition then Traffic Acquisition options

2. In the main report table, the default view shows sessions broken down by channel. Click the Session default channel group dropdown to view sessions by medium, source, or campaign.

The default Traffic Acquisition report shows traffic by channels

For our purposes, we’ll use Session source as an example.

If you click the default channel group, you can select Session source to view traffic sources

3. The table now shows the top sources driving traffic to your site and their respective users, sessions, time spent, conversions, and so on.

Traffic Acquisition report showing session sources

4. If you want to narrow your analysis even further, click the plus sign (+) next to Session source to add another dimension.

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add the landing page dimension to view traffic to specific pages

We want to know where those external traffic sources are sending traffic, so we’re adding the Landing page + query string dimension.

Now you can see the sources of traffic to specific landing pages, but let’s get even more specific.

5. Enter the path of a specific URL (basically everything after into the search bar. The report will now show you where traffic to that particular page is coming from.

the report now shows traffic to our selected landing pages, with social traffic highlighted in green

In this case, we’ve filtered our results to view traffic to our (extremely cool) emoji translator tool.

And look at that! Our social channels are two of the top five sources driving traffic to our tool.

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If we hadn’t tagged the source using UTM parameters, it would be a lot harder to attribute that traffic — and any associated conversions — to social media.

8 tips for using UTM parameters

1. Don’t use UTM tags on internal links

UTM tags were designed to track traffic to your website from external sources, such as social media platforms. When adding a link from one page of your website to another, do not add UTM parameters—this will confuse tools like Google Analytics and create tracking errors, such as inflating sessions and misattributing user actions.

2. Document your UTM naming conventions

The beauty of UTM parameters is that there are no right or wrong ways to use them—you can customize your tags to your exact needs. However, with all this flexibility, it’s essential to define a system for how you name your tags so that you can properly analyze them.

This practice is essential if multiple people create and analyze UTM parameters within your company. Suppose one person uses a dash (-) to separate words, and another uses an underscore (_). That link will appear as two separate links in your analytics tool, making analysis difficult.

Our tip is to create a style guide for creating your tracked links. For the source, campaign, and medium parameters, define a list of tags to choose from. For the term and content parameters, outline some rules to follow (such as “adcolor_adsize_adversion”).

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3. Keep format and styling consistent

Here are several formatting and styling best practices to follow when creating UTM parameters:

  • Use lowercase: UTM codes are case-sensitive. That means facebook, Facebook, FaceBook, and FACEBOOK all end up tracked separately. To avoid data tracking issues, always write UTM parameters in lowercase.
  • Don’t use spaces: Adding spaces in UTM tags (such as “organic social”) will show up as “organic%20social” in your analytics tool. So, better off to avoid using them.
  • Use consistent separators: When adding multiple words within a parameter, you can use a dash (organic-social), underscore (organic_social), or no space (organicsocial). Whichever one you choose, document it in your UTM style guide to keep things consistent. Otherwise, using all three will create three separate tracked links in analytics tools.
  • Keep UTM codes short and simple: The shorter and simpler your UTM codes are, the easier they are to analyze in analytics tools. They’ll also be easier to understand by colleagues who didn’t create the UTMs themselves.
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4. Check reports regularly for wonky UTM codes

UTM codes are prone to human error, even with a defined list and style guide. When checking your analytics and reports, watch for errors or typos in UTM codes so you can correct them before they skew your data.

5. Track UTM links in a spreadsheet

Once you start creating UTM tags, the number of links you’re tracking will likely multiply quickly. Tip: each time you make a new link, add it to a spreadsheet. Having them all in one place lets you quickly reference them when creating reports and avoid creating duplicate links.

Your spreadsheet should have columns to record the short link, full URL, individual UTM codes, and the creation date for the tracked link. Leave a field for notes to keep track of essential details.

6. Create a campaign preset for multiple posts

On Hootsuite Team, Business, and Enterprise plans, admins and super admins can create a campaign preset that saves UTM codes. Each user on the team can then apply the preset to links with just a couple of clicks.

Using presets saves the effort of typing in each UTM parameter manually. It also eliminates the possibility of accidentally using inconsistent codes that will skew your data.

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You can create presets for individual campaigns and a default preset to apply to all links published in your social media posts. Once you set up the presets, they’re available for use by all team members.

7. Track the ROI of influencer marketing

When working with influencers, create links with a unique utm_content tag. This allows you to track which influencers are sending the most traffic to your site and the most conversions. Based on these insights, you can calculate each influencer’s return compared to their cost.

8. Use UTM parameters for experimentation

A/B testing allows you to test hypotheses about what works best for your audience.

For example, you may have a gut feeling that product illustrations perform better than images with real people. But how do you test this objectively?

With UTM codes, you can test this theory. Share two identical posts, one with an illustration and one with a photo. In the utm_content tag, use “illustration” for one link and “photo” for the other. You’ll soon see which drives more clicks.

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Of course, you should run several tests before committing to one type of content. I’d recommend doing at least five posts to see if you can observe consistent results.

Frequently asked questions about UTMs

What are the 5 UTM parameters?

The five main UTM parameters are source, medium, campaign, term, and content.

What does UTM stand for?

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. The Urchin Software Corporation, a predecessor to Google Analytics, created UTM parameters, hence the name.

Which UTM parameters to track?

The minimum UTM parameters to track are utm_source, utm_medium, and utm_campaign. You can also add utm_term and utm_content for more precise tracking.

What is the UTM source in a URL?

The utm_source tag in a URL allows website owners to track where a link was clicked before leading to a website visit.

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Can I use UTM parameters on internal links?

No, adding UTMs to internal links on your website will cause issues with your tracking within Google Analytics. Do not add UTMs to internal links.

Easily create UTM parameters and track the success of your social efforts using Hootsuite. Try it free today.

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5 B2B Social Media Marketing Tactics That Actually Work





B2B social media marketing can be an effective way for brands to build awareness, strengthen relationships, and close sales. But B2B social marketers face unique challenges when it comes to tone and content mix.

So, how do you use social tools to bring in (and keep) followers, create engagement, build brand awareness, and fill your funnel? Read on for all the tips you need to build an effective B2B social media strategy.

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.

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B2B social media marketing is the use of social channels to market products or services to business clients and prospects. (B2B stands for business-to-business, as opposed to business-to-consumer or B2C.)

Marketers at B2C companies use social channels to reach consumers and influence purchases. Effective B2B marketing requires a different approach. B2B marketers have to think more strategically to reach business owners and decision-makers. They then nurture relationships that can lead to large purchase agreements.

All social channels can have a place in B2B marketing. But the balance and type of content will look different for a B2B social media strategy than for a consumer-focused plan.

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B2B social media success begins with a sound B2B social media strategy. Here’s how to build one for your brand.

 1. Align goals with business objectives

Just like a good B2C strategy, every B2B social media plan should answer the following two questions:

  1. What are the company’s business objectives?
  2. How will B2B social media marketing help achieve them?

But the similarities mostly end here. B2B and B2C social media marketers use social platforms for different purposes. B2C social media campaigns drive sales, while B2B social is more “top of funnel.” Social media goals for B2B marketers should likely focus on longer-term business objectives.

In fact, the top 3 overall goals for B2B companies are:

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  1. Create brand awareness
  2. Build trust and credibility
  3. Educate audiences

Generating sales or revenue comes in at number 8.

Those top three goals all contribute to social media B2B lead generation. Successful B2B marketers also use content marketing to nurture subscribers, audiences, or leads.

Our blog post on goal-setting can help you establish the right goals and objectives for your B2B social media plan.

Don’t forget to include internal objectives and goals within your plan. According to research published in the Journal of Business Logistics, social media can help account managers increase both product and competitor knowledge.

2. Know your audience

Your corporate structure probably caters to various client personas. Or, at least, different client categories.

For instance, a design firm might work for commercial, public, and residential customers. It likely has team members or verticals that specialize in each category.

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Your B2B social media marketing strategy should do the same. Focus on building fleshed-out buyer personas of your ideal customers. These will allow you to create social media content that speaks to real people.

Understanding your audience also means understanding which social channels they use. As a general rule, you should be where your customers are. Not sure where that might be? Start with the overall social media demographics. Then, dive into some audience research.

Almost all B2B content marketers (96%) use LinkedIn. They also rated it as the top-performing organic platform.

organic non paid social media platforms B2B content marketers used in last 12 months

Source: Content Marketing Institute

For paid social media posts, the picture for B2B social media platforms is similar but not identical. LinkedIn again comes out on top (78%). But Instagram outranks YouTube and Twitter (a.k.a. X) is down at the bottom of the pack.

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paid social media platforms B2B content marketers used in last 12 months

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Separate channels may also be relevant for different verticals, products, and markets. Depending on the industry and size of your business, you might want to consider:

See also  How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy in 9 Easy Steps (Free Template)

Or any other account that speaks to a specific audience within your niche. Make sure you’re delivering the information your target audience wants in the right place and at the right time.

Keep in mind that B2B social marketing will likely become even more personalized in the future. Account-based marketing (ABM) will become the norm. In ABM, sales and marketing teams work together. They personalize outreach and marketing to decision-makers at target companies.

Social media is a prime tool for ABM. For instance, social listening allows you to keep tabs on your most important prospects.

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3. Understand the competition

While you never want to copy the competition, it’s always useful to know what they’re up to. Understanding what the competition is doing helps you understand your own specific niche.

Start by benchmarking your current social media performance against your competitors. Hootsuite Analytics has a built-in benchmarking tool that shows how you stack up against others in your field.

industry benchmarking profile impressions audience growth rate and post engagement rate

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You can get an even better understanding of the competition by using social media listening to monitor their social media activities, so you can gain insights from their B2B social media examples. Such as:

  • When and how often they post
  • What kinds of voice and tone they use
  • What kind of content gets the most engagement
  • Specific customer pain points that may be unaddressed

You can use this information to guide your own social strategy. Especially before you have enough data to get meaningful insights from your own social posts. (More on that later.)

Want more details on competitor research? We’ve got a full blog post on how to conduct a competitor analysis on social media.

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4. Create a content calendar and content library

Once you understand your customers and the competition, it’s time to think about what and when you will post on social media.

First, you need to plan your content calendar: What you will post on each of your social accounts and when. Deciding on the right content mix is an important part of this step, as no one will want to follow you if all you do is promote your products. We’ve got some content ideas for you later on in this post.

A social media management platform organizes your content calendar so you can create and schedule content in advance. And 76% of the most successful B2B businesses do so.

Hootsuite’s Composer allows you to schedule all of your social media channels from one screen. You have a holistic view of your content distribution. This advance planning gives you time to use the built-in content approval workflows. Composer also recommends the best time to post on each platform based on your past performance and selected goals.

Hootsuite Composer new Twitter post Hayward School of Finance

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Hootsuite’s content library is another important feature for B2B marketers. You can use the library to store pre-approved content and brand assets.

This protects your brand identity and reputation while making life easier for all members of the content creation team.

5. Analyze and refine

​​Almost all (87%) of the most successful B2B content marketers say they measure their content performance accurately. Compare that to only 19% of the least successful.

This makes sense. How can you know how well your social content performs if you don’t measure with clear metrics and KPIs?

What metrics and data should you monitor? This depends on your business goals. You might focus on response time, impressions, engagement rate, conversions, sales, and more. The important thing is to set benchmarks and achievable goals.

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Don’t ignore barometers like customer satisfaction ratings, qualitative reviews, and your Net Promoter Score. Look at reductions in recruitment and customer support costs as well. All of this contributes to return on investment.

Be realistic about what efforts you’ll have hard numbers for and which will be trickier to quantify. Remember, just because you can measure something doesn’t always mean you should. And just because you can’t measure something (easily) doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.

See also  The Best Time to Post on Facebook in 2023 [SOLVED]

Your best ally in building out a performance measurement plan is a good social media analytics tool. Hootsuite Analytics gives you one-screen access to performance data from every social network, including easy-to-understand graphics and charts.

Hootsuite Analytics performance measurement plan ROI analysis

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Speak to humans, not businesses

Remember that you’re not talking to brands – you’re talking to the people behind those brands. Likewise, they want to do business with the humans behind your brand.

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In the LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact study, 64% of executives said they prefer “a more human, less formal tone of voice” over “an even-toned, intellectual voice.”

And you’re not just talking to CEOs and purchasing officers. Younger people will move up the ranks and be making purchasing decisions within a few years. It pays to nurture relationships with industry pros at all stages of their careers.

One simple way to break out of the boardroom with your content is to get your employees involved. Tell their stories. Highlight their accomplishments. Real people make your social media presence and brand voice appear more human and boost your recruiting efforts.

Tip: You can easily build a streamlined employee social program using Hootsuite Amplify.

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Help your audience do their jobs

Think about ways you can make your followers’ (work) lives easier or more enjoyable. Provide content and resources that delight them in some way. Think how-to information, industry news, trends, tips, strategy, and so on.

Thought leadership is particularly important. 61% of decision-makers say thought leadership can be ”moderately or a lot more effective at demonstrating the potential value of its products/services compared to traditional product-oriented marketing.”

In content that does specifically promote your product, focus on how it will directly benefit the customer in real business terms. The latest Linked-in-Edelman B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report found that non-business-critical suppliers can best increase their chances of making a sale by:

  • Proving they will increase a prospect’s profit margins or minimize losses
  • Showing they can increase the likelihood of the prospect retaining customers and clients during a downturn
  • Showing they can help the prospect outperform competitors

Use humor your followers will understand

B2B social media is about starting conversations and building relationships that lead to sales in the long term. That “long term” part is key, though. Followers aren’t going to stick around if your content doesn’t interest them.

So don’t let B2B’s reputation for boring content hold you back. Humor is an import tool in your content-creation toolbox. You just have to find the right tone.

What kind of humor speaks directly to your audience? Is there an inside joke that only industry pros will understand? A pun that will amuse your followers while highlighting your product benefits? Signal to your audience that you understand social media is primarily a platform for content that entertains and delights.

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Respond to DMs and comments

If we were to highlight the most important component of a B2B social media strategy, this would probably be it. Anyone who comments on your content or sends you a DM is expressing interest in your brand. They’re practically raising their hands and shouting, “Hey! I’m a lead!”

That said, it’s easy for comments and DMs to get lost when you’re juggling multiple social platforms, each with its own inbox. A consolidated social media inbox like the one built into Hootsuite makes sure you never miss a thing.

Hootsuite Inbox also speeds up your response time by automatically routing messages through to the most appropriate person on your team. This ensures potential sales don’t get bogged down in the customer service queue.

Reduce response time (and your workload)

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

Book a Demo

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B2B social media tactics and content ideas

1. Share a free resource

A free resource like a white paper or report can be a valuable way to earn the trust of your B2B social media followers. But only if the report provides quality information backed up by reliable data and research – and offers real-world suggestions for how to incorporate that information into operations.

See also  What Is an NFT? 2023 Cheat Sheet for Marketers

Two of the main qualities business leaders look for in thought leadership content are “robust research and strong supporting data” and “concrete guidance on how to respond to the issues or opportunities discussed.”

For example, here’s the primary and secondary data information for the Hootsuite 2023 Social Media Career Report:

Hootsuite 2023 Social Media Career Report survey and respondent data

And here are some of the ways Hootsuite shared the report on social media:

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But how much asking is too much? 🤣

All kidding aside, this is why you must ask for the damn raise already! You deserve it for so many reasons.

Discover the most convincing reasons, and build up the courage to ask with insights from our career report:

— Hootsuite 🦉 (@hootsuite) September 19, 2023

2. Crack a joke

We talked about humor earlier in this post. Here’s where the rubber hits the road. From a tongue-in-cheek play on words, to a funny meme, to a straight-up dad joke, tickle your followers’ funny bones from time to time to keep them coming back for more.

The level of humor can vary with the platform, and should be based on audience research. For instance, you can likely skew a lot more silly on TikTok than on LinkedIn.

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@artandsuchevan finds creativity in the tiniest and most unexpected places ✨

♬ original sound – Adobe – Adobe

Keep a close eye on your analytics after posting anything outside the norm for your brand to see how your audience responds. If they love it, give them more. If the response is tepid or you see an unusual number of unfollows, rethink your strategy and try a different approach to humor.

3. Join a relevant conversation

We talked about social listening above in the context of competitor research. But it’s also a great way to find conversations relevant to your industry and your brand.

Simply add relevant hashtags and industry terms to your Hootsuite streams. When you find a relevant conversation, pop in with helpful information (never a hard sell). This is all about building relationships and creating brand awareness.

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For example, when Patrick Mahomes was caught correcting an awkward grammar mistake on Twitter (shout out to the edit button!), both Grammarly and Merriam-Webster jumped in.

Patrick Mahomes grammar mistake correction on Twitter post

Source: @PatrickMahomes

The edit deserves a touchdown.🏈

— Grammarly (@Grammarly) September 12, 2023

Proud of this edit.

— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 12, 2023

4. Share some stats

We’ve talked about the importance of thought leadership already. Quick stats and infographics are an easy and effective way to share thought leadership on social media without requiring followers to dive deep into a long report.

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Infographics are snackable and highly shareable, meaning they can help your content spread well beyond your own social followers.

5. Empathize

Business can be tough, and you can gain a lot of brand loyalty by showing you understand the difficulties employees face. Remember, you need to win the hearts and minds of future business leaders, not just those who are making purchasing decisions today.

We hope this message finds you well. Unless you’re on PTO. In that case, we hope this message does not find you; we hope you find yourself with a fully recharged battery. 🔋

— Slack (@SlackHQ) September 19, 2023

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2023 Average Engagement Rates for 13 Industries [STATS]





So you’ve planned and launched a social media campaign, and waited patiently for the likes, comments, and conversions to roll in. Now you’re looking at your performance report, wondering what the numbers actually mean. Is a 2% engagement rate high or low? Did your target audience love your campaign, or was it a flop?

Without social media benchmarks (a.k.a. average performance stats for a social platform or industry), it’s difficult to make sense of raw data. But we got you. In this post, we’ve rounded up average social media engagement rates from 13 top industries to give you a better understanding of where you stand. (And empower you to brag to your boss with data-informed confidence — you’re welcome.)

We’ve even included a simple (and free!) engagement rate calculator you can use to quickly double-check your own performance stats.

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Average engagement rates (September 2023)

Below, you’ll find the latest average engagement rates (per post), broken down by industry and social network.

Where did this data come from? Our team collects and anonymously compiles data from social accounts connected to Hootsuite. Each benchmark is based on at least 100 social accounts, and no data can be traced back to any individual account.

For more benchmarks (including impressions, audience growth rate, posting frequency, and much more) and insights that will help you improve your marketing strategy, start a free 30-day Hootsuite trial and browse stats from your industry — and hand-picked competitors — in Hootsuite Analytics

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  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.02%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.06%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.82%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.18%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.71%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Agencies


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.03%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 3.16%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.63%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.81%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.52%
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Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Education

Entertainment and media

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.4%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.66%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.09%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.32%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 9.77%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Entertainment and media

Financial services

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.99%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.87%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.97%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.74%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.64%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Financial services

Food and beverage

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.79%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.49%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.71%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.11%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.64%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Food and beverage


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.33%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.05%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.64%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 2.14%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.8%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Government

Healthcare and wellness

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.92%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.28%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.31%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.61%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.75%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Healthcare and wellness


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.18%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.47%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.61%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 2.26%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.63%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Nonprofit

Real estate

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.81%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.5%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.01%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.68%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.39%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Real estate


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.87%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 2.07%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.82%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.29%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 1.21%


Professional services and consulting

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 0.89%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.62%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1.05%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.55%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.36%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Professional services and consulting


  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.34%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.47%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 1%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.72%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 0.55%
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Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Technology

Travel, hospitality, and leisure

  • Average X (Twitter) engagement rate: 1.32%
  • Average Instagram engagement rate: 1.7%
  • Average Facebook engagement rate: 0.97%
  • Average LinkedIn engagement rate: 1.47%
  • Average TikTok engagement rate: 6.01%

Average social media engagement rate in September 2023: Travel, hospitality, and leisure

Average engagement rates: September insights

1. Instagram users are the most engaged

Across almost all industries, Instagram consistently has the highest average rates compared to other social networks.

Interestingly, educational institutions generated higher Instagram engagement than any other industry in September. If you run social media for a school, college, or university and struggle to get your engagement rates up to the industry average, here are some tips that will help.

2. TikTok is a great platform for entertainment and travel-related content

Exceptionally high TikTok engagement rates suggest that short-form video is a great way to capture audience attention in these sectors. If you operate in one of these industries and haven’t started using TikTok to promote your business yet, you might be missing out! Our beginner’s guide to TikTok marketing will help you get started and connect with TikTok’s hyper-engaged community.

3. Financial services and technology have a hard(ish) time generating engagement

In general, financial institutions and tech companies appear to generate slightly lower social media engagement compared to other sectors — on every social media platform except for LinkedIn. This might be because these industries deal with complex and technical topics that can be challenging to engage a broad audience.

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Remember: It’s not a product or service that makes something seem “boring” — it’s bad marketing. You can create engaging social content even if your industry has a boring reputation. Not sure how? Check out these blog posts for inspiration:

4. The food and beverage industry wins on Instagram

Restaurants and other food-related businesses see high engagement on Instagram — which makes perfect sense, considering the platform’s focus on visual content (and its users’ obsession with posting pictures of their meals).

See also  The Top 10 Stress-Free Social Media Planning Tools

Free engagement rate calculator

Ready to compare your performance to industry benchmarks? Use this free tool to find out your engagement rate by post.

Note: If you’re calculating your account’s total engagement, include information about all your posts (e.g total number of posts published, total number of likes, and so on). If you’re calculating the engagement rate of a specific social media marketing campaign, only include the details of the posts that were part of the campaign.

Engagement rate calculator

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If you’re looking for more detailed data or you want to calculate different kinds of engagement (like engagement rate by reach or engagement rate by impressions), download our free spreadsheet calculator that will do the math for you.

Or, better yet, start a free 30-day Hootsuite trial to easily track the performance of all your social channels in one place (so you can replicate what works and get more engagement). Hootsuite’s social media analytics tool collects your stats from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

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With Hootsuite Analytics, you can also:

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  • Find out when your audience is online
  • Get personalized recommendations for your best times to post for each of your accounts
  • Easily view industry benchmarks and see how you compare to competitors

Use Hootsuite to track and improve engagement rates across all your social media channels. Try it free today.

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How To Save Tons of Time With Instagram Auto Reply





Responding to messages quickly is a huge part of social media customer service—and it’s no different whether you’re dealing with messages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Luckily, Instagram has an easy-to-use option that can cut down on your team’s time responding to questions.

With Instagram auto reply, you can easily set auto-responses to common questions and messages. This feature cuts down on the time your social media support team needs to spend monitoring and replying to customers.

In this article, we’ll talk more about the Instagram auto reply feature, how it can be used, and a few message examples for inspiration.

Bonus: Get a free, easy-to-use Customer Service Report Template that helps you track and calculate your monthly customer service efforts all in one place.

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What is Instagram auto reply?

Instagram auto reply is a feature available in your Instagram message settings that allows you to send automatic responses to frequently asked questions.

For example, if you regularly get a question like, “Do you offer free shipping?” your team can set up an auto reply that will answer the question instantly rather than forcing the customer to wait for a real person to respond.

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There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Instagram tools: Set automatic responses for frequently asked questions or craft canned messages that your team can easily send out via Instagram DM.
  • Meta Business Suite: Set up messaging automations for both Instagram and Facebook.
  • Third-party inboxes: Use tools like Hootsuite Inbox to easily monitor and manage your Instagram direct messages and comments.

Learn more about how a social inbox like Hootsuite’s can help streamline your social media communication in this video:

There are several ways to take advantage of Instagram’s auto reply feature. Here are just a few types of automated responses you might consider setting up:

  • Welcome messages
  • Away messages
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Share contact information
  • Share business hours of operation
  • Provide shipment and payment details
  • Offer discounts
  • Explain wholesale pricing information
  • Tell customers how to handle issues with their orders
  • Share links to additional resources

Pros and cons of using Instagram auto reply

So why use Instagram auto reply? Is it the best option for creating automated responses and freeing up your team’s time? As always, it depends on your needs.

Let’s cover some basic pros and cons to help you decide.


  • Make a good impression. Instagram shows your followers how quick your team is to respond. A faster response time is a better look for your business.
  • Answer questions before they’re asked. Create an auto-responder that gives your customers a clear idea of when they can expect to hear from a real person—unless your auto replies can give their answer immediately.
  • Save your team time. Stop writing the same reply over and over again. Automated messages give your team more time for escalated messages and other customer support issues.
  • Never miss a message. You don’t have to worry about time zones when you enlist auto reply. Even when your team isn’t working, customers can get answers as soon as they send a message.
See also  Customer Service Metrics: 2023 Guide + Free Template


  • Only for Instagram and Facebook. Instagram/Meta’s built-in features only work for these two platforms. You’ll have to enlist the help of external tools for other social media platforms—don’t worry, we’ve got more on that below.
  • You have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages. In order to access some of the more advanced tools, you must use Meta Business Suite, so you’ll have to connect your Facebook and Instagram pages.

Reduce response time (and your workload)

Manage all your messages stress-free with easy routing, saved replies, and friendly chatbots. Try Hootsuite’s Inbox today.

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15 Instagram auto reply message examples

Not sure what types of auto replies to set for your Instagram messages? Here are 15 examples to help inspire you.

Welcome message

Send one of these options to all new incoming Instagram DMs whenever your team is unavailable for a quick response:

  • Thank you for getting in touch! Our team is available from 10am-3pm CT. We’ll get back to you within those hours!
  • Hey there—thanks for reaching out! Your message is important to us. Someone on our team will get back to you within the next 12 hours.
  • Sorry we missed you! Our team is currently unavailable, but we’ll be back around 8am GMT.

Basic business information

Use one of these when someone messages you on Instagram to ask about hours of operation or contact information:

  • Our hours of operation are 11am-11pm ET Monday through Saturday.
  • To get in touch with a representative directly, please give us a call at [###-###-####].
  • To learn more or request a demo, email us at
  • Our offices are located at 1234 Business Street.

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few common questions and answers you might want to incorporate into your Instagram auto replies.

How long does shipping take?

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  • You can expect your items to arrive within 3-5 business days of your order.

How can I cancel my plan?

  • To cancel, go to the “Account” section of your dashboard and find the “Cancel plan” button.
  • We’re sad to see you go! To cancel, please call one of our representatives directly at [###-###-####] or send an email to

Do you offer any discounts?

  • We love that you asked! Use promo code INSTA for 10% off your purchase.
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What services do you offer?

  • We offer accounting services for small businesses.

How much do your services cost?

  • We work on a monthly retainer basis. Packages start at $1,000/month and go up to $15,000+ depending on your needs.

Are you taking new patients?

  • Yes, please head to our website to fill out the form for new patients.
  • Unfortunately, our therapists are fully booked at the moment. Please check back next quarter to see if any spots have opened up.

There are two ways to set up auto replies on Instagram. The first is pretty easy—do so right inside the Instagram app. The second involves digging into the Automations option in Meta Business Suite.

We’ll walk you through each process.

How to set up auto replies via the Instagram app

First, open the Instagram app. Tap the messages icon in the top right corner of the home feed. Then, tap on the ellipses in the top right corner of your messages dashboard and select Tools.

Select Tools in the top right corner of your messages dashboard.

Here, you can set either saved replies (canned responses your team can tap on to send manually) or auto replies for frequently asked questions.

The Tools section of Instagram settings include response suggestions, saved replies, frequently asked questions, and message controls

Tap on Frequently asked questions to access the auto reply feature. Instagram will typically include a few starter questions. You can customize these or use them as is—just add answers.

Add as many questions as you want. You can even show these questions in chat, so customers who want to message you have options to choose from.

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How to set up auto replies in Meta Business Suite

If you have your Facebook Business Page set up and optimized and your Instagram business profile connected, you can use Meta Business Suite to create automations like this.

First, head over to your Facebook Business Page, then click on Meta Business Suite in the left-hand sidebar.

The back end of Facebook/Meta Business Suite

You’ll then be taken to the Meta Business Suite dashboard. From here, click on Inbox in the right-hand sidebar.

The left hand sidebar of Meta Business Suite shows Inbox (among other options)

This inbox section will hold all messages and comments from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. If you’re looking for a single place to manage these, Business Suite is a great place to do so. The biggest downfall is that those are the only platforms you can monitor here (more on that later).

To set up your auto-reply messages, click the atom icon to access Automations.

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The automations option is highlighted in the top right of the Inbox screen

Here, you can set up a number of automations relating to your direct messages across all of Meta’s platforms. If you haven’t previously set up Frequently asked questions, it will appear as one of the Suggested for you options. Click on it to get started.

The Inbox Automations menu shows suggested options, including Instant Replies and Away Messages

Select your Instagram account from the list of places you want to turn this automation on. Then, start adding questions. You can preview them in the left-hand sidebar.

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The edit automation screen in Meta Business Suite allows you to write your own text for an Instagram auto reply

Once you’re done, click Save changes and toggle this automation into the On position. And voila! You’ve got your frequently asked questions set up.

Other automations you can create are:

  • Away messages
  • Instant replies
  • Follow ups

How to auto-respond to messages and comments on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn

We mentioned that Meta Business Suite is great for managing your messages and comments on Facebook and Instagram. But if your brand uses other platforms, like X (formerly known as Twitter) and LinkedIn, you’ll need additional support.

Good news—you’re in luck! With Hootsuite’s Social Inbox, your entire social media and customer support team can monitor, manage, and respond to messages across all social media platforms in one space.

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Hootsuite Inbox

You can store information about various customers so you never start a new interaction as strangers, helping customers feel seen and valued. Assign messages and interactions to certain team members so the most-equipped person can handle each specific issue.

Use Hootsuite Inbox as your social media help desk, resolving messages as soon as they’ve been responded to and keeping notes on customer issues.

Hootsuite Inbox

Create auto-responders for every social media platform you manage with Hootsuite.

Book a free Hootsuite demo and try Inbox today

Why should you use Instagram auto reply?

Instagram auto reply is a great way to minimize wait time for frequently asked questions. If you know common questions your audience has, and there’s a set answer you can provide, set it as an auto-response.

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This saves your team time and ensures your Instagram followers don’t have to wait for a response.

How do you turn Instagram auto reply off?

There’s no quick on-off toggle for Instagram auto reply. Instead, you’ll have to go into your Instagram messaging tools and remove any frequently asked question responses you’ve input.

What is a saved reply on Instagram?

A saved reply is a similar tool to auto replies. Instead of sending instantaneously, though, saved replies are simply stored in your Instagram messaging settings for your team to manually send out. This works if the question someone asks has different answers depending on the time of year. You can save replies for a quick response, but you don’t want to have the response be automatic.

Keep your customers happy with faster message responses, thanks to Hootsuite. Respond to questions and complaints, create tickets from social conversations, and work with chatbots all from one dashboard. See it in action.

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Save time on social messaging with automated responses, smarter workflows, and friendly chatbots — all in the Hootsuite Inbox.

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